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“Latent Prowess”


Latent Prowess

Ok, I don’t think I’m on the dumb side of intelligence, but I had to look up the word “prowess”. It’s not a word is see use very often and I had not idea what it meant. According to my dictionary, prowess means “skill or expertise in a particular activity or field”. It also can mean, “bravery in battle”. So, in my opinion, this title fits this story perfectly even if it sounds a little strange.

Mitch Murphy is the worst bad luck guy in the world. He’s in a rut of a job that he’s held for ten years with the same company, never seeing a promotion or any suggestions that he might get advanced upward. Of course he’s not really ambitious nor is he what you would call a hard charger. He does his job well and that’s about it. He married a college sweetheart who didn’t finish college because she wanted to stay at home while he worked. That was fine for a few years, but his wife also had some expensive shopping habits. Mitch tried to keep up with her demands for more stuff and even purchase an apartment that he really couldn’t afford and now he was heavily in debt.

His debts were so large that he would never pay them off if things kept going the way they were. Something had to change, but Mitch wasn’t actually looking for change. He just didn’t know what to do but keep on doing the same exact thing every day. That is until one day he goes to his office and his assigned cubicle only to be called to the Boss’ office. He’s been terminated. Pack your stuff and leave. No fanfare, no thanks for giving ten years of your life to this company and by the way, send in the pregnant woman in the office, she’s next to get fired! Mitch’s bad day just turned into a very horrible day, but it wasn’t finished yet.

As Mitch had nothing to and no where to go, he figured he’d go home and with his wife’s help, they would figure out what to do next. They’d have to sell the apartment, for sure, and contact some of their lenders to let them know they’d probably get future behind on payments until he found another job. Mitch was 33 and his college degree was in finance, but he was no financial wizard as confirmed by his mountain of debts. Upon arriving at his apartment, he notices that he left some of his clothes scattered on the bedroom floor. He also notices that his wife must have just gotten up since the bed wasn’t made and she was in the shower.

Then Mitch looks at the clothes he just picked up. This was definitely not his kind of clothing. He goes near the shower and here’s his wife laughing which she seldom does and also notices two bodies in the fogged over shower door! Mitch’s wife was obviously having an affair. Still, being the spineless guy he was, he didn’t want to confront her and whoever the guy was, so he fled the apartment. So what’s he supposed to do now?

Fortunately for him, he notices some advertising that talks about a new recruiting program for the Colonial Marines. Humanity had been to the stars for several centuries now and had even found a gateway to another system with a habitatal planet that humanity has started colonizing. Unfortunately, this planet was also attacking other aliens life forms and they didn’t like humans on the planet. So, naturally, humanity fought back. But, they were barely winning. They had to come up with something to counter the aliens superiority.

This is where the new Latent Tech comes into the picture/book. They needed healthy humans from Earth to agree to join the Colonial Marine Corps and agree to allow themselves to be put through a series of bio-enhancements. Mitch found a Marine recruiting office and inquired about the program. He was subjected to some scans of his entire body before they would even talk to him. Once that was done, the recruiter seemed pleased with the results. He told Mitch that he was a good candidate for the Latent Tech program. If he did sign he would get the following benefits. All his debts would be paid and his apartment mortgage would be paid for a full year!

The only problem with this program, which the recruiter didn’t tell Mitch was that the failure/success rate in using the Latent Tech serum was about 50/50. In other words, he could die just as easily as it doing any good for him. On the flip-side, if he took to the serum, he would be physically changed into a stronger, faster and healthier human and he would be a Marine, getting paid while not having any debts at all. Mitch figured that if he died, he would be better off than now, but if he lived, he’d be a new person and could change his life.

Little did Mitch know that his life was drastically going to change forever. See, Mitch turns out to be the best candidate for the Latent Talent Tech. He just had to survive what comes after it.

Great story that’s going to have a very interesting ending. I’m definitely going to follow this series. I really like stories where the human isn’t the weakling Earthling that gets shoved around by all the aliens. Mitch does some shoving himself. Still, this is not a real good reflection on the Colonial Marine Corps. You need to read the book to find out why. Book 2, “Gravity Masters”, now available on Amazon.

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